AFCON 2023 Semi-Finals

05/02/2024 | ,

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has been a stage of surprises and unpredictability, deviating significantly from the script of the 2021 edition. None of the quarter-finalists from the previous tournament managed to secure a spot in the last eight in Ivory Coast. Defending champions Senegal, the continent’s top-ranked side Morocco as well as the record seven-time winners Egypt all faced unexpected exits in the last 16. Therefore only four countries with a history of lifting the trophy remained in the contest while Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea and furthermore Mali all hoped of clinching their first-ever continental championship.

AFCON 2023 Semi-Finals

Before we look at the upcoming 2 AFCON 2023 Semi-Finals let’s start with a quick recap of the Quarter-Final results and how the 4 semi-finalists made it through.

Quarter Final Review

On 2 and 3 February 2023 the 4 AFCON quarter-finals happened with the following results:

  • Nigeria 1 – 0 Angola
  • DR Congo 3 – 1 Guinea
  • Mali 1 – 2 Ivory Coast
  • Cape Verde 0 – 2 South Africa

Nigeria vs Angola

Nigeria secured a spot in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals with a narrow 1-0 victory over Angola, courtesy of Ademola Lookman’s first-half goal in Abidjan. Lookman confidently converted a cut-back from Moses Simon just before the break, setting the tone for Nigeria’s dominance. Despite a disallowed 75th-minute header by Victor Osimhen, ruled out for offside after VAR intervention, the 1-0 scoreline flattered Angola, who struggled throughout the game. Angola’s best opportunity came when Zine hit the post just before the hour mark. Nigeria now prepares to face South Africa in the semi-finals next Wednesday, while Angola’s quest for a semi-final appearance continues.

DR Congo vs Guinea

This match was a tale of two penalties. In a stunning turnaround, DR Congo triumphed 3-1 over Guinea, securing a coveted spot in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals. Despite Mohamed Bayo putting Guinea ahead with a 20th-minute penalty, Chancel Mbemba swiftly equalised with a precise strike. DR Congo seized control in the second half, with Yoane Wissa converting a penalty after Julian Jeanvier’s foul on Silas. The victory was sealed by Arthur Masuaku’s well-placed free-kick. Having drawn all four previous games in Ivory Coast, including a penalty shootout win against Egypt, DR Congo anticipates their first semi-final since 2015 against Ivory Coast.

Mali vs Ivory Coast

Despite navigating the group stage with narrow escapes and the mid-tournament departure of manager Jean-Louis Gasset, the host nation’s journey in the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages has been equally heart-stopping. Under interim boss Emerse Fae, Ivory Coast showcased resilience, mounting a comeback with a late goal to force extra time and penalties, ultimately defeating defending champions Senegal in the last 16. However, the real spectacle unfolded in the quarter final against Mali. Ivory Coast continued their dramatic escapades, with Oumar Diakite’s 122nd-minute winner propelling the 10-man Elephants into the semi-finals, leaving Mali heartbroken. Despite playing with a numerical disadvantage for most of the game due to Odilon Kossounou’s early dismissal, the Elephants found an equaliser through Simon Adingra in the 90th minute and secured victory with Diakite’s decisive touch in virtually the last kick of extra time.

Cape Verde vs South Africa

In a thrilling encounter, Captain Ronwen Williams showcased exceptional goalkeeping skills, saving four penalties and propelling South Africa into the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals after a goalless draw against Cape Verde. Bebe, Willy Semedo, Laros Duarte, and Patrick Andrade all faced denial in the shootout, with Williams’s outstanding performance stealing the spotlight. In a dramatic turn, Williams made a crucial late save to deflect Benchimol’s strike against the woodwork, extending the grueling quarter-final into extra time. Cape Verde’s goalkeeper Vozinha countered with two exceptional saves, denying Mihlali Mayambela and Evidence Makgopa. South Africa now sets the stage for a semi-final clash, seeking redemption against Nigeria after their 2000 defeat.

AFCON 2023 Semi-Finals Overview

4 nations are now left and hope to secure their spot in the AFCON 2023 Final on 11 February 2024. Both AFCON 2023 Semi-Finals will take place on Wednesday, 7 February 2024:

  • Nigeria vs South Africa, kick off 17:00 at Stade de la Paix in Bouake.
  • Ivory Coast vs DR Congo, kick off 20:00 at Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

Nigeria vs South Africa – Prediction

Nigeria’s prospects of clinching the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) title have significantly improved following the elimination of key rivals. Now they are seen as the favourites to win. Despite a sluggish start with a surprising 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea the Super Eagles showcased resilience and bounced back. Nigeria’s current form boasts four wins and one draw in their last five matches, solidifying their status as a formidable force.

In contrast, South Africa’s recent performances have been marked by inconsistency, with two wins and two draws in their last five matches. Nigeria’s defensive prowess shines through, having kept four clean sheets without the need for extra time, while South Africa has faced a different challenge.

With both teams having good defences we expect a tight match – with Nigeria most likely winning. The PrideBet New team predicts a hard-fought 1-0 victory for Nigeria in regular time. Hence betting on Nigeria to win (1) could be a reasonable prediction.

If you like to bet on over/under goals then the following information might help. Four of South Africa’s last five AFCON matches ended with under 2.5 goals. This aligns with Nigeria’s trend of concluding matches with fewer than three goals. Therefore placing a bet on under 2.5 goals for the Nigeria vs South Africa match could be a winning one.

Ivory Coast vs DR Congo – Prediction

With Ivory Coast facing DR Congo in a highly anticipated clash, the hosts find themselves navigating challenges. Both Oumar Diakite and Odilon Kossounou can’t play due to red cards received against Mali. Willy Boly is expected to step into Kossounou’s defensive role, adding depth to the backline. The potential return of Sebastien Haller, overcoming an ankle injury, injects further strength to the Ivory Coast lineup.

Meanwhile, Brentford’s Yoane Wissa is set to lead DR Congo’s attacking front, with no fresh injury concerns reported. The history between these teams adds intrigue, as Ivory Coast emerged victorious in the 2015 Cup of Nations semi-final with a 3-1 win. Despite the challenges, fate and luck seems to favour the hosts. Therefore the PrideBet News team predicts a hard-fought 2-1 victory for Ivory Coast in this exciting encounter.

Who will go on to the AFCON 2023 Final?

Eight became four and after the 2 semi-finals we’ll know who will face each other in the AFCON 2023 final. The odds are currently in favour of Nigeria. Most experts believe they will lift the Cup. However the AFCON 2023 has been so far a tournament full of surprises and hence nothing is always as predicted.

Put your football knowledge and instincts to the test and place your bets on the upcoming AFCON semi-finals at PrideBet. Amplify the excitement of AFCON with PrideBet’s great odds and special AFCON promotions amongst the many promotions in February. PrideBet is the ideal companion for every soccer punter looking to make their predictions even more rewarding. Come, join the Pride, together we play!

Related News